Bats Come Alive For Delaware Softball as Blue Hens Sweep Doubleheader at Hampton, 10-6 and 12-0
March 1, 2011
photos courtesy of Mark Campbell
• Game 1 Boxscore
• Game 2 Boxscore
HAMPTON, Va. -- The University of Delaware softball team pounded out 22 runs on 23 hits as the Blue Hens' bats came alive during a doubleheader sweep at Hampton, 10-6 and 12-0 in five innings, Tuesday afternoon at Lady Pirates Field.
The Blue Hens, who improved to 2-5 on the season, took control early during the opener by scoring six runs in the top of the first inning. Jenny Richards led off the game by blasting a home run to center field, and after Gina Knutson and Lara Andrews each walked, Amanda Stacevicz reached on an error to load the bases. Michelle Grap then legged out an infield single to chase home Knutson, and one out later all three Blue Hens stole a base as Andrews crossed the plate to make it a 3-0 game.
Brittany Noons then bounced into a fielder’s choice for the second out of the inning, but after she moved to second on a passed ball, Michelle McKinnon drilled a base hit up the middle to drive home two more runs. McKinnon then advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored when Samantha Pettie singled as Delaware took a commanding six-run advantage.
The Blue Hens added a run in the second as Richards opened the frame with a walk, moved to second on a foul out by Andrews, and scored on a single to left field by Stacevicz. Delaware then took advantage of a pair of Hampton miscues in the fourth to tack on another run. With one out Richards reached on an error, and she quickly moved to third when Knutson singled to right center. Andrews then hit a fly ball to center that was misplayed by the Pirates’ Tamara Vickers, allowing Richards to score UD’s eighth run of the contest.
Meanwhile Stacevicz fired three scoreless innings before Rebecca Magett opened the bottom of the fourth with a home run to left field to make it an 8-1 game. Then after Delaware went scoreless in the top of the fifth despite working three walks, the Pirates stormed back into the game by scoring five runs in the bottom of the inning.
Kathleen Conway relieved Stacevicz at the start of the frame and quickly worked into trouble, walking Cynammon Bell and hitting Vickers with a pitch. Nina Ferguson then singled to shortstop to load the bases, and one out later Conway hit Bre’Anna Brown and Magett to force home a pair of runs and cut the UD lead to 8-3. Stacevicz replaced Conway in the circle, but Travonna Byrd greeted her by stroking a two-run single as the Pirates pulled within three. Adrianna Scott then followed with a sacrifice fly to make it an 8-6 game, but the rally ended when a pinch-runner was thrown out at third trying to advance.
With their lead trimmed to a pair, the Blue Hens quickly answered in the sixth as Knutson led off with a home run. Stacevicz then singled to left with one out, and after she was erased when Grap reached on a fielder’s choice, Rachel Jones delivered an RBI single to right to drive home Grap with Delaware’s 10th run of the game.
Anne Marie Pagano (at right) then took over in the circle for the Blue Hens, allowing just one hit while firing two scoreless innings to close out the victory, the first of head coach Jaime Wohlbach’s Blue Hen career.
Stacevicz, who also went 2 for 4 at the plate, allowed one earned run on three hits in 4.2 innings to improve to 1-2 on the season. Byrd, who was charged with all 10 runs (eight earned) on 11 hits, dropped to 1-4 on the year. Richards paced the UD attack by going 2 for 4 with three runs scored, while Knutson (at left) and Jones also added two hits apiece.
The nightcap remained scoreless until the top of the third inning when Knutson, who entered the day with one career home run, blasted her second longball of the day to put the Blue Hens in front. Later in the frame Jones delivered a two-run single, driving home Grap and Brittney Noons to give UD a three-run cushion.
Delaware added a run in the fourth when Bertie Lake stroked a leadoff single to left, went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Pettie, and scored on a two-out infield single by Knutson.
The Blue Hens then put the game away by scoring eight runs during the top of the fifth. McKinnon singled home Jones with the first run of the frame, and she later scored when Pettie reached on an error. Richards then singled home Pettie, and she came around to score when Knutson reached on an Hampton miscue to make it an 8-0 game. Grap added an RBI single during the rally, and after Jones was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force home another run, McKinnon capped the scoring with a two-run single to left.
That would be plenty of support for Pagano, who fired a three-hit shutout and walked just one while striking out four Pirates. The shutout was the fourth of Pagano’s career as she improved to 1-1 on the season. Hampton pitcher Heather Ryder gave up 12 runs, just four earned, on 12 hits in five innings of work.
Knutson led the Blue Hens by finishing 2 for 4 with three RBI and a pair of runs scored, while Jones and McKinnon were each 2 for 3 with three RBI. Delaware’s 12-run triumph was its largest margin of victory since a 13-1 win over Delaware State on March 14, 2008, and its largest margin of victory in a shutout since a 12-0 blanking of the Hornets on March 22, 1994.
Delaware returns to action this weekend with five games at the Coastal Carolina Tournament in Conway, S.C. The Blue Hens open play on Friday by facing Western Carolina at 2 p.m. and the host Chanticleers at 6:30 p.m.Back To Softball Home Softball Story Archive